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[bug #27757] findutils and Time Machine, two great tastes that don't go

From: Douglas Alan
Subject: [bug #27757] findutils and Time Machine, two great tastes that don't go great together
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 2009 19:02:34 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_8; en-US) AppleWebKit/532.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/532.5

Follow-up Comment #3, bug #27757 (project findutils):

When I have a chance, I'll try to build findutils on my Mac and see if the
problem still exists. Unfortunately, I'm extremely busy at a new job at the

I can't imagine, however, that if nothing were done specifically to avoid
Time Machine filesystems, that the problem could have gone away on its own.
Running 'find' nightly on a filesystem that allows hard links to directories
can never be a good thing. Not unless find has somehow been modified to be
smart about such things. But hard links to directories have never been allowed
in a Posix-compliant filesystem, have they?

Also, one typically wouldn't want to have the contents of a Time Machine
filesystem cluttering up one's "locate" results anyway, even if it could be
made to work.

Re the request for more information: I'm not sure what additional info you
require. It's not easy to gather more information; I don't recall if there was
even a comprehensible panic message in the log file. Instead of working from
log files, I used the scientific method. I was able to deduce the cause of the
problem due to the fact that the Mac would reliably crash every night in the
wee hours of the morning, when the "locate" database was being updated. I
hypothesized that "find" would use up an infinite amount of system resources
if it were asked to infinitely recurse on a filesystem that allows directory
loops. I turned off my Time Machine disk drive and the problem went away. I
turned it back on  and the problem came back. I then went into the anacron
config file that ran the nightly "locate" db find, and commented out the
offending line. The problem went away.


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